For Wordle edition #363, the answer is pure deliciousness in its raw form. It is the progenitor for something that almost every person with a sweet tooth struggles with avoiding. Interestingly, there isn’t any common English language word of five letters that rhymes with the solution for today’s Wordle. Yet, despite that word rhyming quandary, you certainly must have come across the word or a derivative of it that uses the same set of letters in a different order.
Here’s your first hint: the word has three vowels in total — a pair of the letter “a” and a lone “o.” The answer for today’s word quiz has quite a rich narrative behind it dating back thousands of years through human history. One of the most crucial historical links to the word is traced to the Mayan civilization inhabiting the Amazon basin, and then to the Aztecs.
Such was the importance of the item in those ancient cultures that it was used as a currency, bestowed upon victorious warriors, and was highly sought after at royal celebrations. When the Spanish Conquistadors reached the so-called New World, they introduced the item to the world with their own unique spin to it. It was one of the most remarkable examples of culinary appropriation, and after staying a tightly-guarded secret for nearly a century, the world finally got a whiff of it and its fame grew like wildfire.
A delicious history
If you haven’t wrapped your mind around the answer yet, today’s Wordle solution is cacao. The word is a direct import from the Spanish language and, in turn, derived from the word “cacahuatl” in the Classical Nahuatl script. Cacao is extracted from the cacao tree — also known by its scientific name: Theobroma cacao. The genus name is derived from the Greek language, in which “theo” means god, while the “broma” part signifies food. Ask any chocolate lover, and they would gladly label the sweet delicacy as a food worthy of the gods.
Cacao refers to the namesake tree and the beans extracted from the yellow fruit, while the roasted beans go by the name cocoa. Add a dash of sugar and some spices to it, and you get chocolate — and milk to it, and you get the treat known as milk chocolate. The knowledge of chocolate first arrived in Europe in the 16th century as a beverage for the Spanish royalty, and within a century, England and France also cultivated a taste for it.
In the Mayan civilization’s history, it was believed that their gods brought cacao with them to Earth. In fact, they even held an annual festival to honor the cacao god named Ek Chuah. In Aztec legends, it was the deity Quetzalcoatl who discovered cacao in the mountains. Coming to the modern age, the cacao powder is not merely used for whipping up delicacies, but it also has numerous documented medicinal benefits.